Saturday, January 26, 2013

Benefits of a Multi-Cat Household

While we may think of cats as solitary animals, many cats actually prefer the company of other felines to being alone. There are many benefits to having multiple cats. Pairs of cats keep each other company. How much of your day do you really have to devote to your cat? Chances are you work out of the home and are gone for the better part of the day, when you come home you have bills to pay, dinner to cook; then it's off to bed for 8 hours, leaving you with a few hours, at most, to spend with your cat. That's a lot of time for a cat to keep herself occupied on her own.

While you cat probably spends most of the day sleeping, she also spends lots of it looking for mental stimulation. If you have multiple cats, they can keep each other occupied by playing together. Single cats, especially single kittens, are much more likely to knock things off shelves and dressers, climb the blinds, bother the plants, explore (and chew on!) cords, and generally engage in naughty kitty behavior, even if given toys.

Nutmeg and Ray Ray love playing together!
Pairs of cats are able to wrestle and chase each other, thus burning off energy and getting enough mental stimulation to keep them out of trouble. Kittens need other kittens to play and wrestle with so they can learn boundaries. Play wrestling is such an important part of kitten development, it teaches kittens just how hard they can bite without hurting and gives them appropriate wrestling outlets, as opposed to your hands and feet.

Having multiple cats is also a great way to keep your cat from being lonely. Even if the cats don't play together, they will still be keeping each other company. Many cats will snuggle with each other, or at least sleep in the same room. Just like humans a cat may not want attention or company all the time, but will be content knowing there is a companion near by.

If you are worried that caring for multiple cats is more work or more expense relax. Caring for two cats is just as easy as caring for one. You put down two dishes of food instead of one, and have slightly more waste matter to remove from your litter box. You will buy slightly more food and litter than for a single cat, but not a substantial amount.

If you are certain you only want a single cat, talk to the shelter you are adopting from, they are certain to have a few cats who prefer to be single cats. A single kitten is not a good idea, and most shelters or rescue groups will only adopt kittens out in pairs.

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